2009 was a rough year for the gaming industry as we learned that even our vast entertainment medium wasn't immune to the harsh economic climate that befell the world. Recently, we learned on the last day of the year, that yet another developer had been claimed by the disastrous year in gaming that was 2009. Near Death Studios, the company responsible for Meridian 59, is no longer near death, but dead. Brian 'Psychochild' Green posted the news on his blog on December 31st, 2009, and explained how the company had evolved and managed to develop and keep Meridian 59 running with only a handful of people, but in the end, the game lost many subscribers to games like World of Warcraft and Meridian 59 never took flight like the team had hoped.
The death knell was probably when we tried to do a massive upgrade to the client, getting an actual 3D hardware accelerated renderer instead of the DOOM-era software renderer. We finished this project a few months before WoW launched, and any fanfare we tried to generate was drowned in the flood of WoW excitement. On top of that, WoW cannibalized our subscribers (like it did for many other games), so we had even less income to deal with.
Green puts Meridian 59 player concerns to rest by announcing that the game will continue on, just not as a commercial concern for the now defunct Near Death Studios. As always, we wish those of Near Death Studios the best in their future endeavors.
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